Aussie ABC: Coral Islands are Growing Larger, Despite Climate Change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to the Australian ABC, despite the ravages of global warming, most tropical coral islands in the Pacific Ocean which were investigated by the University of Auckland are maintaining their size or growing larger.

Hundreds of Pacific Islands are getting bigger despite global warming

Pacific Beat / By Marian Faa

New research says hundreds of islands in the Pacific are growing in land size, even as climate change-related sea level rises threaten the region.

Scientists at the University of Auckland found atolls in the Pacific nations of Marshall Islands and Kiribati, as well as the Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean, have grown up to 8 per cent in size over the past six decades despite sea level rise.

They say their research could help climate-vulnerable nations adapt to global warming in the future.

The scientists used satellite images of islands as well as on-the-ground analysis to track the changes.

Coastal geomorphologist Dr Paul Kench said coral reef sediment was responsible for building up the islands.

Dr Kench said in areas where coral reefs were healthy, enough sediment was being produced to cause islands to grow.

The majority of islands in each of those nations has either got larger or stayed very similar in size,” he said.

“So, you know, one of the remarkable takeaways of the work is that these islands are actually quite dynamic in a physical sense.”

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-08/why-are-hundreds-of-pacific-islands-getting-bigger/13038430

What I don’t understand is if global warming is threatening to kill off all the coral in the Great Barrier Reef, how can Coral islands be growing larger in the Ailinglaplap Atoll, almost right on the equator?

Professor Kench did express concern about global warming. Perhaps he thinks the coral will all die away if we hit 1.5C or something.

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January 11, 2021 at 12:41AM

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